How is urinary incontinence treated?

Written by: Mr Sachin Malde
Edited by: Jay Staniland

Overactive bladder can be very successfully treated. There are a number of things that we can do to try to improve these overactive bladder symptoms. We often start with the simplest measures. First of all, we would perform modification of your fluid intake, and lifestyle. This would involve a detailed assessment of what type of fluid you drink, how often you drink, and at what times you drink throughout the day. This can then enable us to modify your fluid intake to reduce your risks of frequency and urgency of urine.


What drinks should I avoid with urinary incontinence?


Commonly, caffeine and alcohol can increase your risk of overactive bladder symptoms and so reducing these can make a significant difference to your symptoms. We often advise performing bladder training and pelvic floor muscle exercises.

This should be done with a trained medical professional physiotherapist, and can significantly improve symptoms in a high number of patients. This is also especially recommended during pregnancy to reduce your risk of incontinence and helps to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles.


Medication for urinary incontinence and overactive bladder


For overactive bladder symptoms, if changes to your fluid intake and lifestyle hasn’t worked, there are a number of medications that we can try to help relax the bladder. These are again often very successful although some patients do experience side effects and so there are a number of other treatments we can use.


Surgical treatments for urinary incontinence


One option for the treatment of urinary incontinence or overactive bladder is to inject botox into your bladder. This is a short procedure that helps to relax the bladder and improve the symptoms of going very often to pass urine or waking up a lot at night time to pass urine. It can also improve incontinence symptoms.

The other option is to implant a pacemaker like device into the skin under your lower back. This technique is called sacral nerve stimulation. This device sends electrical impulses to the nerves that supply the bladder and thereby relaxes the bladder and improve the symptoms of urinary incontinence.

If this doesn't work, there are other surgical procedures that can be performed and a doctor will talk to you about these depending on how bad your incontinence is and how much it’s affecting your quality of life.

If you are suffering with urinary incontinence or overactive bladder, make an appointment with a specialist urologist.

By Mr Sachin Malde

Mr Sachin Malde is a well-regarded and highly trained Consultant Urological Surgeon based at the renowned Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital in London. Mr Malde qualified from the biggest healthcare training facility in Europe, the historic Guy’s, King’s and St Thomas’ School of Medicine in London, before completing his urology training. He is an expert in the management of urological problems and has specialist interests in bladder cancer, incontinence, urinary infections, bladder problems and prostate diseases. He completed his fellowship training at University College Hospital in London, where he was given an award for his research into incontinence. Mr Malde is keen to offer the most up-to-date treatments and is one of only a handful of urologists performing sacral nerve stimulation for bladder conditions. Enthusiastic about education and the academic side of medicine, he has tutored and lectured nationally and internationally, and has published widely in peer-reviewed journals. Mr Malde is a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and is a member of the British Association of Urological Surgeons. He is also a member of the European Association of Urology where he sits on the Guidelines panel for male urinary symptoms.

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